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Data content standards

Across government we want to use data more efficiently and effectively to make better choices and provide quick, effortless, and smart services to New Zealanders.

Improving data content practices among government agencies will mean that we are better able to meet the growing expectations of New Zealanders in both areas.

Data collected across government has not been designed consistently or managed with all-of-government needs in mind. This means when we try to share data (for multiple reasons and only where permitted and safe to do so) it can be very difficult to do.

Data content standards aim to provide a reliable and consistent basis for the New Zealand data system to:

  • maximise the value of data
  • create a more complete view to inform government policy and investment decisions
  • enable information sharing and reconciling the data faster and more efficiently.

What are data content standards? 

Government data content standards

As the functional lead for data, the Government Chief Data Steward (GCDS) is working across government to co-design, develop, and implement short data content standards, tapping into specialised expertise. The GCDS has the authority to set mandatory standards across government.

Government Chief Data Steward

Co-designing standards across government

Once approved, data content standards are mandatory for New Zealand government agencies that share electronic data containing the data concept in the data content standard. (Government agencies refers to the State sector Public Service departments and departmental agencies as specified in schedules 1 and 1A of the State Sector Act 1988.)

The government data content standards design process also provides opportunities to improve connections across government agencies and increase knowledge about common data problems.

Register of government data content standards

Contact us

If you would like to know more, please email


Last updated 5 December 2019